School children in central London are showing how we can create a greener city for all by leaving polluting vehicles behind to take up walking and cycling to school.
Westminster City Council is working with all schools in the borough to produce school travel plans, with the aim of encouraging healthier, sustainable and safer travel on the journey to and from school.
A special school assembly for ‘International Walk to School Month’ saw children from St Mary’s Bryanston Square CE Primary School walk to nearby St Edward’s Catholic Primary School to share their travel plan and innovative ideas.
St Mary’s Bryanston Square CE Primary School is based in our Low Emission Neighbourhood in Marylebone.
As part of our proposal we are looking to reduce vehicle numbers and improve air quality. Initiatives cover all bases from public realm improvements to working with local residents and schools to change behaviour and encourage sustainable travel.
St Mary’s Bryanston Square CE Primary School have been awarded Transport for London’s Bronze STARS award which recognises the work that education establishments have done to encourage sustainable, active and safer travel and is supporting St Edwards as it looks to develop its own school travel plan and become accredited for the TfL STARS programme.
The impact of the LEN is already starting to show positive results getting children to walk and cycle to school.
This change is even starting to have an influence outside the LEN. Pupils discussed how they travel to school and how it helps the environment by cutting harmful vehicle emissions. They shared tips and encouraged one another to do more to be greener, which can be fun as well as practical.
Cllr Heather Acton, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking, said: “We are committed to getting more people of all ages walking and cycling around our city as it’s a great way to enjoy all that Westminster has to offer.
Children from a young age are more aware about their environment, and empowering them to take on healthy habits will also benefit our environment, cutting our reliance on vehicles and helping improve our air quality.
Enabling school children to share these experiences with their peers in a fun and accessible way means we can help develop our future leaders in the importance of sustainability. We are encouraging schools across the capital to share their travel plans and support one another in this way.
“Tackling air pollution is a key part of our plans for the borough, in Marylebone we are creating a low emission neighbourhood with new initiatives such as increasing electric vehicle use and working with local partners to cut down on transit deliveries.”
Kirsty Jones from the Baker Street Quarter Partnership, the BID in Marylebone that’s working with the Council to help deliver LEN initiatives, talked to the children about how local businesses are helping to improve air quality.
Kirsty commented “Speaking to local school children directly helped us show them that the whole community cares about making the area and their futures better”